Thursday, August 30, 2012

Creamy Spinach Chorizo Pasta

Is there anything more comforting than a bowl of creamy pasta goodness? I don't think so. This week, armed with a package of soy chorizo, I thought of throwing together something spicy and satisfying. My first thought was stuffed peppers, but that's a lot of work for my lazy ass. What's easier than pasta?

I had some fresh, local jalepenos on hand to throw into the mix as well, which added needed crunch and spice to this already complex dish. I'd suggest experimenting with different ingredients!

Creamy Spinach Chorizo Pasta

1 box whole wheat rotini pasta
1 pkg soy chorizo (I used Helen's Kitchen, yum)
1 red bell pepper, diced
1 small onion, diced
2 jalepenos, diced (optional)
3-4 c fresh spinach, torn into chunks
1 batch quick cashew cream (see recipe)

Quick Cashew Cream (approx. measurements)
1 c raw cashews
4-5 T lemon juice
1/2 c water

  • Bring water to a boil for the pasta. Cook and drain.
  • Saute diced pepper & onion in a small amount of oil (or water) for a few minutes in a large pan. Add the chorizo and jalepenos & cook on medium heat, stirring occasionally.
  • Make the cashew cream: In high speed blender or food processor combine cashews, lemon juice, and *just enough* water to cover the cashews. Blend on high speed until creamy.
  • Add cashew cream to chorizo mixture and mix thoroughly. Add water as needed to reach creamy consistency. Add torn spinach and cook until mixture is heated through.
  • Add pasta, mix, and enjoy! Makes about 5 servings.
This was a really delicious meal. It's not terribly spicy, but you could definitely play with the heat. Also, add all of the veggies your heart desires! <3 div="div">

Monday, August 13, 2012

Vegan Shreds = Melty, Gooey Win

A few weeks ago I was the lucky winner of Dynise's, of urban vegan, giveaway for Galaxy Vegan Shreds - woo! The coupon arrived very quickly and, upon my last trip to Whole Foods, I grabbed a free bag of the mozzarella style and went on my merry way. Dynise's photos of her creations using the shreds were drool-worthy... could a vegan cheese product be even meltier than Daiya? Yes. The answer is yes.

This stuff melts superbly in the microwave, especially atop a Five Star Foodies Artichoke Burger (ECSTASY). Crumbly morsels melted into a pool of gooey, cheesy goodness as a sinful accompaniment to an already divine-tasting burger... add a little Vegenaise and some greens and you're good to go, holmes.

But how do the shreds hold up in the oven? Hmm, not as well as Daiya. I topped a ready-made crust with sauce, artichokes (noticing a theme here?), onions, olives, red peppers, and shreds and popped it in the oven at (I think) 350 for 10-15 minutes. The shreds never became melty, but when I poked them (tee hee) they were soft and stretchy. I was kinda hoping for a pool of gobbly-gooey cheese-mess on the pizza... but, oh well. It was still delicious!

The shreds don't taste much like Daiya - I find them a bit more tart and with their own unique flavor. Not much like what I remember of mozzarella, either, but that's a 4+ year memory. Galaxy Vegan Shreds are a nice change-up from Daiya and melt fantastically in the microwave. I wonder how they'll do in a sauce!

Have you tried them yet?

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

DIY Sundae Bar

So what's a vegan to do with not a dairy-free ice creamery in sight? Two options (besides making my own ice cream, which, c'mon, pff... I'm lazy): Buy a pint and inhale it while watching Netflix reruns OR grab a friend and head down to the local health food supermarket and pick up supplies for a nostalgic sundae.

A while back I joined a fellow vegan pal at local Earthfare, which caters to omnis, veg*ns, and raw foodists alike. They have a large deli and salad/cold/hot bar with room for seating, which was perfect for our venture.

We selected coconut milk mint chip ice cream, soy whip, vegan chocolate chip cookies, sprinkles, gummy bunnies, and chocolate syrup for our concoctions - and it was a success!

Mmm... buried under all that whip are cookie chunks, creamy and minty frozen deliciousness, and plenty of chocolate sauce. Reminds me of being a kid - which is likely the last time I had such an elaborate treat!

Ever made an adventure out of your local supermarket?